How to Start a Personal Statement
Writing a convincing personal statement has always been the toughest task. Some people run out of the words while others struggle with forming a comprehensive outlook for their personal statements. How to start a personal statement is indeed an art which requires the meaningful and relevant introduction to your experience, skills and unique selling proposition that helps you in standing out.
If you are having a hard time in assembling your expertise and expressing yourself through adequate words then, you are not alone.
The recent studies say that nearly 1500 applications are received by admission tutors during the admission season and 60% are rejected because of the inadequate formation of a personal statement.
So how to start a personal statement in the most effective manner?
What is a Personal Statement
The personal statement is the brief summary that helps the reader in getting insight into your personality (backed by completed education, possessed skills and experiences).
The reader of your personal statement is always searching for the one differentiated skill which makes you unique from all other applicants and makes you a perfect candidate for the applied school or organization.
The personal statement is created by using maximum 4000 characters, the right combination of information-based fragments and unique paragraphs that facilitates in describing your unique-self.
In academic terms, the personal statement is also referred as ‘Application Essay’ or ‘Statement of purpose’. Additionally, the personal statement is also included into the Curriculum Vitae (CV) and serves the defined purpose.
The format of the personal statement is usually generic in nature, however, some graduate schools also provide students with a template in order to acquire the ‘needed information’ or for the final judgment purposes.
What to Write in a Personal Statement?
Writing an effective personal statement is all about following a systemic procedure without setting needed information aside. Most of the people make the mistake of over-loading the starting-point thus reducing the overall impact of the personal statement.
The entire format of a statement is just like a traditional essay consisting of ‘Introductory or opening paragraphs’, ‘Point of Discussion’ and ‘Ending Notes’.
Opening of a Personal Statement
The opening part is basically an opportunity for the writer to properly introduce himself to the desired audience. The starting part doesn’t have to be catchy or fancy enough to attract the attention, however, it should consist of those elements which can help the other person in understanding your ideas and perception.
Things to Add a Personal Statement: (Opening only)
The draft is the unprocessed form of the final paper which is created in order to increase the efficiency of the final document. Making draft is a brainstorming activity which can surely make your final personal statement a lot better.
It is highly recommended to make at least 3 potential drafts of your personal statement and aim to pick the best content from each of the drafts to form an incredible statement. Additionally, your draft should consist of every minute detail about everything.
Starting from your educational experiences to your professional dealing, everything should be included. As the draft is not restricted by any word limit or format, therefore, it is your opportunity to express yourself so don’t miss it.
State your Purpose Directly:
You should always focus on directly jumping to the main idea without using fat vocabulary words. Most of the people waste a major chunk of their time while formulating the catchy openings, which are actually useless.
Remember, the purpose of this statement is to inform readers about your interest in the field and why you are willing to invest your time and money.
You should take a direct start by explaining your enthusiasm for the field and how excited you are to participate, in other words, you should write about ‘what’s makes you the perfect fit’ for the selected course.
Additionally, you should always avoid making buffers while writing the initial statements because it makes your statement look too fake or too exaggerated
Be real, confident and focus on telling the reader about your passion
You should never use the words like ‘I would’ or ‘I’m’ as a starter for your personal statement because these words are gross. The starting should be professional in nature.
For instance, you can initiate by stating that ‘XYZ College or Company has always been my priority because of XYZ reasons’. The professional starting will help the reader in establishing perception about your personality and your current mental level.
Briefly State about your Expectations:
Being brief is the only option you have because lengthy openings or unneeded words in the starting paragraphs can increase the chances of rejection.
The brief statements with adequate information give a view that you are capable of maintaining efficiency without taking excessive help from the supporting pillars.
Your goal should be to transform your sentences into short fragments and communicating your thoughts while using the same pattern. As the starting of your personal statement is entirely directed towards ‘what makes your different’ therefore, it is impossible to fill pages upon pages to describe your different self.
Additionally, adding few lines about your expectations (in-lined with your skills and experiences) from the course or field can also effectively help in communicating your passion and potential towards the institute.
This part of the initial paragraph should not be bombarded with information however, it should reflect your seriousness regarding the selected field.
For instance, you should tell that how ‘the applied for’ course is the best option for you and how it can further help you in enhancing your skills.
The starting of your personal statement should be completed within in 6 (Maximum) lines of an A4 size paper. If you are exceeding the limits then, consider revising the words or change the big sentences into fragments for increasing the readability.
Write it by yourself:
Remember that your personal statement is the ‘highly personal’ thing and it should not be formulated by another person.
Writing the statement by yourself will not only facilitate you in penning the right information down, however, it can make things look real and honest (which is the way of increasing the chances of selection)
Even if you are facing any sort of language barriers, it is recommended to get the work done in front of your eyes in order to avoid the chances of any misunderstanding or misinterpretation during the analysis period.
Remember, that the purpose of this statement is not to test your vocabulary or other grammatical factors. If you have any doubts then, it is better to get the final draft checked by the authorized person.
Things to Avoid:
Avoid Increase the Length by Adding Irrelevant Experiences and Skills
The personal statement is written in order to check the relevancy of your skills and experiences to the applied field.
Some people make the mistake of adding all of their professional and educational
experiences in the section which ultimately lead to the straight-forward rejection.
For instance, if you are writing for the ‘Management Course’ so you should focus on
adding all the valuable skills related from the field of management.
Additionally, writing skills on the personal statement are all about being your own judge.
You are the only person who knows about the level of skills you have and how to utilize
those skills for generating the outcome.
It is better to avoid any sort of over-stating.
Avoid going off the Track
Always stay focused and don’t miss the actual context of your personal statement. Your personal statement should contain more information about the course rather than your personal life.
The hurdles involved at this stage can easily be minimized by maintaining the
‘briefness’. It is not important to lose sight during the initial stages, however, sometimes
people tend to miss the track during the ‘body stage’.
Avoid providing ‘Too’ much personal Information
Remember that application tutor is not interested in getting information about your
traveling experience, your current financial standing or how much struggle you are
going to get admission into the course.
Application analysts are always looking for the uniqueness and you can only impress
them by adding right and relevant information about your current situation and how
you can provide benefits (not monetary) to the institute and your hometown or country.
Additionally, you should never add the past history of your personal life. Some people begin their personal statement with ‘When I was Young’ or ‘When I lost someone’. These type of cliché beginnings decrease the overall credibility of your essay and make it less attractive.
Some Beginning Rules:
Answer According to Specifications:
- Some companies and Universities provide the specific set of questions which need to be answered through the personal statement.
- In such case, always try to understand the questions and then, form a draft for your answers
by adding all the possible choices. Avoid exaggeration.
Conduct a Deep Research on the Practices:
- Always check the website and brochures of the institute to understand their practices and values.
- This step will help you in eliminating those things which are not properly correlated with
the practices or can increase the chances of rejection.
Make the Final and Get it Proofread
Once you are done with the entire essay then, next step is getting the paper proofread by the right person.
Firstly you should check your paper by yourself. It is better to read it for at least 2 times.
After checking ask your friends from the same and other fields to proofread the
document and lastly get the paper checked from your professor.
Proofreading will help in the identification of mistakes and revision, if necessary.
If you liked our article on How To Start A Personal Statement then, do let us know, What bothers you a lot while writing a personal statement? By leaving your comments below.